In a blink of an eye, we’re here once again back at Voodoo Belfast for Heat 4, rapidly closing in week by week the heats are flying by as we approach yet another first-class finale to the 2020 Competition. Tonight sees the return of three familiar faces from previous years and one new blood contender for a coveted place in the semi-finals.
First up are WildHeat – one of Northern Ireland’s well established Hard Rock bands, a solid band who have taken the experience of the M2TM heats to get themselves out there further and clock up the miles gigging locally, it shows with a tight performance and solid songwriting they have put in the graft to raise their game and boost their overall performance since the last time we saw them. Full on, pedal to the metal Wildheat has gone for the jugular. These guys do what they do very well and their performance is right on the money.
An altogether different kettle of fish is Haint, newcomers to M2TM and to the scene locally as a newly formed band. Devastatingly violent in sound, brutally aggressive and tight as fuck, Haint have announced their arrival to M2TM 2019 in some style. An unknown quantity till now, the beast have been unleashed and the sizeable crowd gathered in front of the small but perfectly formed stage says “You have our undivided attention”, technical, heavy, purposeful Haint have arrived.
Delusional Silence hit the stage slightly earlier than expected catching punters at the bar unaware, soon the front of the stage fills up as the duelling guitars and wailing vocals carry across the room, old school Metal is the name of the game here with bitchin riffs and harmonising guitar work. Vocalist Phil Ashe has taken his place upfront and centre and without the distraction of playing and singing, so he can put 100% into his own performance which in-kind lifts the others, overall you can tell how this has solidified their sound. Another band who have been clocking up the miles gigging for their lives locally earning their stripes and building up a fan base, blistering guitar work, songs with big hooks Delusional Silence have raised their game for 2019. Again you cannot fault the determination, the guys give their all and leave nothing behind to make their mark on this year’s heat, I can’t help but feel their particular style of music is underappreciated here in N.Ireland and would be better served across the water where there is a bigger following for their take on NWOBHM.
So Heat 4 is wrapped up by yet another 2019 big hitter in Victim Royal a youthful crew who from chatting to them earlier are fully up for the challenge once again in 2020. Year of year they have grown and have a solid format which they can now launch themselves from and with a killer drummer, bitchin guitar work and a fully focused vocalist they seem more capable to take on the competition. Their set is packed with the usual VR favourite numbers, hefty riffs to headbang too, five guys having a ball, it’s a fitting ending to another tasty heat once again. A more mature performance, focused and driven Victim Royal seem ready for what 2020 has to throw at them.
A tougher one to call for sure so the results will be interesting fo shizzle.
Congratulations to both Haint + Victim Royal on progressing through to the semi-finals, the quality is stacking up nicely to ensure a seriously tasty and challenging mix of talent for the semi’s and beyond.